STREAMING ISSUES Mayo GAA PRO Paul Cunnane. Pic: Michael McLaughlin
Mayo GAA PRO Paul Cunnane admits that the Board have to ‘hold their hands up’ in relation to the problems with the ‘Mayo GAA TV’ streaming service for last Saturday evening’s Mayo SFC semi-final between Breaffy and Westport at MacHale Park, Castlebar.
Patrons who bought tickets to watch the game encountered various issues throughout the broadcast, before it eventually stopped at the start of the second half.
Mayo GAA have since announced that patrons who bought subscriptions to watch the game (which cost €5 or €15 for a ‘weekend pass’ to watch four matches) would be refunded.
Both of Sunday’s club championship games which were streamed were made available to watch for free.
“It was a tough night for sure,” Cunnane told this week’s Mayo News Football Podcast. “Streaming games is of paramount importance at this time of Covid-19 and behind-closed-doors games. We had our problems last night and we hold our hands up.
“It’s not good enough that people have paid for a service and didn’t get it, we had our problems in the second half of the game and it’s something beyond our control. We engaged with a media company to carry out the streaming on our behalf and they just weren’t able to do that for the second half.
“It’s frustrating from our side and I know it’s frustrating from the supporters’ point of view, so it’s something we have to look at and see that we can overcome it and ensure we don’t have problems like it again.”
It’s understood that more than 2,000 people had paid to watch last Saturday night’s West Mayo derby, which was being broadcast by an independent media production company.
Last weekend was the first time that this particular company — which is based outside Mayo — had been used to stream matches on behalf of Mayo GAA TV.
Cunnane went on to explain that upgrades to the technological infrastructure being used for Mayo GAA TV productions will also be looked at in the future, and more guidance from Croke Park will be needed.
“I think streaming is here to stay,” he said. “Covid-19 is certainly here to stay and I think the 2021 season we’re probably looking at a similar scenario with restrictions on crowds.
“Mayo will have to sit down with the likes of Croke Park and get guidance off them because ultimately they’re the experts. We never claimed to be, we don’t certainly claim to be a broadcast company… we’re doing it to the best of our ability.
“We’re relying on other media partners to do the streaming on our behalf and, unfortunately, we have had issues and we have had a bad run of luck, but we’re always working to try and improve it.
“The numbers are there and it is generating significant income, not close to gate income, but certainly into the future we will be looking at a larger portion of our budget to ensure we don’t encounter these problems we had last night.”
The Davitts clubman admitted he was ‘as disappointed as anyone’ with the problems encountered on Saturday night.
“We don’t enjoy it when it goes down,” he said. “We also don’t enjoy getting a couple of hundred e-mails, phone-calls and some abuse about this, that and the other.
“There’s no-one more disappointed than myself and the team. There’s a lot of good people involved, in front and behind the camera, but unfortunately it was one of those nights where everything seemed to go wrong and we just have to learn and move on from it.”